Best Of Tucson®

Best Place to Cool Your Heels

Mount Lemmon

READERS' PICK: Hot town, summer in the city. We were ready. When readers selected Mount Lemmon as the place to go to cool down, The Lemmon was about to begin another season of embracing Valley visitors seeking respite from our summertime desert bakery. That was before the Bullock fire. Some 30,000 charred acres later, the sky island amenities of the Santa Catalina Mountains still call out to visitors. But you have to be brave to gaze at some canyons that burned white hot and were destroyed by the flames. Visit vendors at Summerhaven. Be glad flames didn't take the whole mountain. And pray for a speedy recovery.

B-SIDE: Agua Caliente Park, Soldier Trail and Roger Road. Midnight at the oasis. Well, the Parks and Recreation Department won't let you visit at midnight, but the leafy bosques and spring-fed waters in this metropolitan cienega are cooling and comforting during normal business hours, too. While Pima County may have over 200 springs, this is one of the very largest, purchased by the citizenry in 1984. Trails cover the entire area, there are plenty of benches and picnic tables, and lots of greenery to throw down a blanket and call your spot home. Agua Caliente Park has been an oasis for man and beast for centuries. If you've never visited the 101 acres, it's time.